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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Tailing the Komets

Here's what I wrote

Two hours before the opening faceoff, almost every Komet was trying to stifle a yawn as they walked into the locker room, almost as if they woken up too late from their pregame naps.

That's exactly how their fans felt a few hours later at the start of the third period. Maybe that's a sleep shot, but this was the most boring game of the season, and that's saying a lot about a team that is now 9-16-3 and continues in last place in the Central Hockey League. The Komets lost 3-1 before 7,337 Memorial Coliseum fans, most of whom had to be nudged by the ushers to quit dozing and move along after the game was over.

How bad was the effort? The IceMen came into the game on a a 1-8-3 skid and are now six points up on Fort Wayne for the last playoff spot in the Turner Conference. The Komets are 0-4-1 at home on Friday nights and a pathetic 1-8-2 including the road games.

``It was embarassing the way we came out tonight, especially with the importance of that game,'' center Mathieu Curadeau said. ``There's really no excuse. Everybody had to bring a better effort tonight. We showed up in the third but obviously it was too late.''

With their lacksadaisical skating, the Komets let the IceMen dictate style and tempo, lulling the Fort Wayne players and crowd into power naps. This wasn't even much of a goaltenders' duel because neither team attempted that many shots on goal.

Along with their 27 shots, the Komets hit a few posts and crossbars, but there were no forwards anywhere near a puck off the pads or within five feet of the crease most of the night. Maybe they have to implement the basketball mantra of ``follow your shot'' to get someone near a rebound.

When the Komets trailed 3-0 after the second period, their fans let them hear it on the way to the locker room. Fort Wayne finally showed some punch early in the third period on a Guy Dupuis power-play goal, but by then it was too late. After being acquired in a trade with Texas on Thursday, new Evansville goaltender Jeff Harvey had to make some big saves early, but nothing overly strenuous.

``We've had good periods here, there, everywhere,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``Good first two periods, bad third the last game against Quad City. We have not put a complete game together yet this year, and we're waiting for it.''

The decisive point on this game was a 5-on-3 power play for Evansville when the Komets' Derek Patrosso got called for hooking at 14:16 of the second period. Only 26 seconds later, IceMen defenseman Mario Larocque blasted a long slap shot over Fort Wayne goaltender Kevin Reiter's shoulder.

``He got caught hooking a guy, and you just can't put yourself down 5-on-3 on a hooking call in the neutral zone,'' Sims said. `If somebody is going to shoot into an empty net, you trip them or knock them down, but it was a bad penalty and we paid the price for it.''

A few quick miscues after that and it was 3-0. The IceMen played the smarter, more controlled game because the Komets let them.

``It was kind of a messy game,'' newly named Komets captain Colin Chaulk said. ``It seemed like at times we had some good pressure and other times we couldn't get it out of our zone and other times you just had a ping pong match (of turnovers).''

Actually, this game was a microcosm of the Fort Wayne season so far. The Komets come out flat, made a few critical turnovers that led to immediate goals and then tried to muster up some energy too late for a comeback. There was no passion, aggressiveness or emotion until it was too late.

Sometime this season the Komets have to find some energy and fire from something other than a Sims' tongue-lashing between periods.

Either that, or maybe they have to move the Friday opening faceoffs to 10 p.m.

Posted in: Komets


Sat, 01/08/2011 - 3:59am

Okay, so Chaulk's return ISN'T such a big motivator. :S Or maybe they just thought everything would be alright with him in the line-up and got lazy.

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 10:25am

This game was one big stink bomb! Where were the K's that played last week? How can we be so inconsistent? We did have four players sitting out and two new players in the lines, but everyone looked like they had never played together before. Hoping for a better game in Dayton tonight and at home Sunday. Go K's.

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 10:57am

Great article, Blake.

"We showed up in the third..." Really, Curadeau? Other than Guy's shot, when did that happen? I must've slept through the 4-second span when the team actually put out effort.

It's a suprise that the camera crews didnt have a field day with that "Caught you texting" thing they do on the big screen because that's all I saw anyone doing since there wasnt a game to watch. Well, everyone except for the junior high kids having their unsupervised makeout sessions up in the rafters above the press box.

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 10:58am

sick him on a chicken, we'll see if we will fight:(
I look for "GOONERY" so why would they sit Legault?
Sims did something like this last year versus "musky" with BigSnake-lawmisses :(

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 11:36am

What r u talking about bite?

Hit Somebody!!!
Sat, 01/08/2011 - 12:07pm

Komets better be ready to play tonight...

Dayton is PO'ed.

Cescon will have to fight for his life tonight since no one else on this team is willing to do it.

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 1:53pm

I think it's time to face facts. On the whole, this team sucks this year. Little-to-no passion, productivity, teamwork, work-ethic, or continuity. We'll probably sneak into the playoffs and maybe even go a round or two since that's all these guys get fired up for...but is that worth it down the line?

The Franke Family and Al Sims did the right and honorable thing (possibly against their better judgement) by bringing these guys back to go four number four...but it's not happening.

IMO it's time to start rebuilding for the future instead of bringing back more relics from the past. Start scheduling some "retirement" games and bring in some young kids who want to do the work; want to play in front of a big crowd; want to listen to a former NHL-er as a coach; and still believe they can one day make it to "the show". I can take losing; I can take bad teams or bad seasons; but what I can't take, is leaving the arena feeling like it mattered more to me, whether we won or lost, than it mattered to the guys who were getting paid to play.

There isn't an OUNCE of energy in the building this year! Note to the sales staff, if you sell every single second of non-action time (when there is any) to bombard us with announcements, ads, or lame videos...YOU PUT US TO SLEEP. We don't need 3-4 more contests on the video screen where you're asked to guess a winner and there's no payoff if you're right. Have someone sponsor a highlight reel or something (good luck finding any from THIS year). The ONE time the crowd got into the game AT ALL last night, was spontaneous.

One other thing...the officiating sucks in this league! Too many nights where the stripe has no concept or scale as to what should be called and what shouldn't. Two guys get tangled up and both go down away from the puck, let them play! They've reduced the game to where I long for the physical play of indoor soccer! Add in the no-excitement-icing and the two time-outs a period and...zzzzzzzzzzzz

Sorry, fell asleep again.

Hit Somebody!!!
Sat, 01/08/2011 - 4:21pm

Good post.

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 5:48pm

I agree, great post....except for the ref's, I don't have a problem w/ it, they call it the same way in the NHL, ticky-tacky stuff. Remember what happened when they went away from North American rules???? The IHL peeked it's ugly head through the gopher hole.

This is hockey now, this is how they call it. Leads to little to zero physicality in hockey, it sux, but it's reality.

Are you serious!!!
Mon, 01/10/2011 - 9:12am

My wife and I went to the game on Friday night vs Evansville. We recently moved from the Warsaw area to Paducah, Kentucky. When we lived in Warsaw we use to go to many komets games. This one by far was the worst effort I have seen on the Ice! Do these players realize they have fans coming from all over to watch them play. Maybe I should invoice the organization for Our Travel, Tickets, and Hotel room that we had to get. We paid over $200 dollars to come watch these kids play the game they so much love and that's the type of effort the fans get? It's pretty bad when your own fans booooo you off your own ICE!